I haven’t had any holidays in over four months now, and thought December would be the perfect time to get back to Arabic. I’ve been saying I should catch up with this language for a while now and kept postponing, so I’m glad I finally took the plunge to devote 5 of my 20 days off this year to Arabic learning.
I have always been a big fan of language schools abroad and had the chance to travel to Syria, the UK, Spain and Morocco to study the languages I love.
I spent quite a long time in Syria a few years ago at the University of Damascus and their Arabic department. There, I met incredible people and learned a LOT in just 6 months. I used to go there once or twice a year back in 2007-2009, but the Arab spring has complicated my returning to Ash-shâm.
Two years ago, I wanted to discover another Arabic environment and thought it could be interesting to go to Morocco. Their dialect is different – and so is their culture. The institute I enrolled in is called Qalam Wa Lawh. The good thing about this school is that they offer a wide range of classes: Moroccan dialect (beginner to advanced), Standard Modern Arabic (beginner to advanced), calligraphy, one-to-one classes and extra-curricular activities to Rabat as well as the desert and other big cities in Morocco.
The only inconvenient I can think of is that advanced students are not always numerous and whenever there is only one or two students in a level, the number of hours of classes you get per day is lower. But then what you get is kind of a one-to-one course so you are likely to learn twice as much as if you were in a larger group.
Over the past few years, Qalam Wa Lawh went from being a small local school to a renown international centre that welcomes hundreds of students every year. Needless to say that when I decided to refresh my Arabic, this school was the first place I thought of. However, as I am on a time pressure this time and only have 5 days to focus on my language skills, it was vital that I make the most of it. So here I am, heading back to Rabat to attend 20 hours of intensive Arabic one-to-one classes. I am hoping that in addition to my daily 4 hours, I will dedicate another 3 or 4 hours to revising what I learned and do a lot of exercises, as I know that once I am back in London, the amount of time I can devote to Arabic will be significantly reduced.
I am really looking forward to it, and would be happy to share my experience with anyone of you who went to Morocco (or elsewhere) to learn Arabic.
Here is a small documentary about the school if you wish to have a quick look. It’s in French but will still give you a good insight about the school and it’s environment: video.
Bye for now,